Puritan Ideals of Work and Play in Our World Today
When Columbus landed in the New World in 1492, he changed the world forever. When the Puritans landed in the same New World, they changed the tides of America’s future everlastingly as well. They brought with them many ideas that are still being used today. The Puritan work ethic was a huge portion of the beliefs carried by the community; it was the idea that all members should strive to do as much as they could for the community, and all should work to gain God’s favor. The Puritans’ idea of duty before self-fulfillment was another evident notion every Puritan held. They believed that everyone should do their obligations first and foremost before anything else. The life of a puritan was full of hard work which was done willingly to gain the favor of God and of the community, and contained the concept of fulfilling each person’s individual responsibilities and then only partaking in activities which where self-fulfilling; in our modern society we volunteer and each member of the family is given duties to complete, similarly to the jobs the Puritans held 100’s of years ago. In the Puritan world everything revolved around God. He was the cornerstone for every action they took. For them, one way to get redemption from the sins that they had committed was to work and toil for God and the people around them. In the Puritan era people helped one another, not for the chance to gain a reward, but a chance to gain favor amongst themselves, strangers and God. As William Bradford states, “But when he grew weak, they had compassion on him and helped him,” this refers to the time when the new colonists helped the sick sailors who had brought them there (Bradford 21). They did this just for the sake of helping others and in doing so gained more of God’s favor. This work ethic inspired the generations of people who followed, and created the standards for American work ethic, which are still being used today. In modern day...
Cited: Bradford, Williams. Of Plymouth Plantation. Adventures in American Literature. Eds, Francis Hodgins, et al. Chicago: HBJ, 1989. 24-31. Print.
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